Cornhill double sinks Clarets
Chelmsford City’s barren spell of draws was ended in negative fashion as East Thurrock came from behind to win 2-1 at the Melbourne Community Stadium.
Daniel Green’s seventh-minute free-kick put the Clarets ahead, however a brace from former Claret Max Cornhill meant the home side’s winless run was extended to four matches.
City boss Rod Stringer made multiple changes to the side that dropped points against Weston-super-Mare at the weekend: Aaron Greene, Mark Haines, Anthony Church, Kudus Oyenuga and James Stevenson all entered the starting line-up, while Shaun Batt and late signing Tom Hitchcock took places on the substitute’s bench.
The hosts took an early lead in extremely wet conditions as a late challenge on Christopher Dickson gave the Clarets a free-kick in a threatening position. Green stepped up inside the first ten minutes and powered a shot through the large wall to put Chelmsford 1-0 ahead.
Oyenuga almost doubled the lead but the wet turf proved difficult to control the ball on and the opportunity slid away. An early cross from Kudus was blocked before moments later Greene’s cross to Church was sent over by Dickson.
Harry Honesty created brief pressure on the Clarets but a strong block from Green denied the pacy winger midway through the first half. But four minutes later the Rocks equalised through midfielder Cornhill.
After a number of successive corners, City could not clear their lines properly and the corner tally was made to work as Cornhill rose highest and headed home.
Just nine minutes after equalising, East Thurrock took the lead as Cornhill converted again. The former Claret latched onto Honesty’s scrambled shot - despite the winger appearing to handle with his arm - and poked a shot underneath Beasant.
The hosts almost levelled quickly afterwards, but Oyenuga’s through ball for Dickson had too much pace and the striker was called offside. Aaron Greene then created a glimpse of hope but his speed on a slippery surface was too much and he fell as another chance went begging.
Dickson came close to levelling just after the interval as he touched down a looped through ball, rounded Lukas Lidakevicius but his shot was somehow poked away by George Allen on the line.
The visitors increased their own number of chances and almost added a third through Honesty, but the Rocks’ winger could only watch as his low driven shot smacked the post and bounced away.
Sam Higgins then came close for the visitors after Green’s cross could not pick out Dickson, but the striker shot well over unmarked.
The introduction of Shaun Batt saw chances increase for the Clarets and they had a call for a penalty with 19 minutes left when the striker weaved into the box before going down, but the weak claims were waved away.
Debutant Hitchcock almost levelled in sensational style with an emphatic overhead kick, however Lidakevicius managed to get a fingertip to the shot to turn it over.
Higgins had the chance to wrap things up for East Thurrock as he turned easily past Elliot Omozusi before shooting wide, however it did not matter as a few minutes later the whistle was blown as the Clarets were left frustrated once again.
Chelmsford: Beasant, Green (Batt 68’), Greene, Haines, Omozusi, Braham-Barrett, Davies (Miller 60’), Church, Oyenuga, Dickson (Hitchcock 63’), Stevenson. Unused Subs: West, Johnson.